OREM — Eight months ago, Scott Meushaw, 22, of Towson, Md., was in envy of his co-worker, Blair Peterson, the quarterback on the Towson University football team. "What was it about him?" Meushaw wondered. Why did he not get angry? Why didn't he drink, smoke or party but still had fun? After all, he was the quarterback.
"I knew there was something different about him. I wanted his life almost," said Meushaw.
So Meushaw approached Peterson, who had served an LDS mission to Argentina, on Facebook — too embarrassed to approach him face to face at work — and asked him some poignant questions.
"Why are we here?" "What's my purpose in life?" "Is there really a heaven?"
"Scott thought I was going to be your typical football player and blow him off," Peterson said.
Quite the contrary, Peterson held tight to Meushaw, just like he does a football on the field, and didn't let go until Meushaw was baptized one month after Meushaw's initial questions.
"I transferred to Towson (from The University of New Mexico) and wasn't really sure why, and then about that time Scott popped into my life and he said one day after church, without knowing how I was feeling, 'You were meant to come to Baltimore to save me and show me the gospel and show me the way.' Hearing that gave me clarity that there's a much bigger picture. I had a whole different perspective after that."
Before he joined the church, Meushaw lived a different lifestyle. "I was just down and doing everything I shouldn't be and on the way to ruining my life."
"Sometimes you get in these college societies with friends and there's not a lot of sacred lifestyle, but Scott held true," said former President T. Dean Moody of the Maryland Baltimore Mission. "He was ridiculed by friends who influenced him against the church, had no support from family but was willing to accept the gospel and stand up for it."
"My old friends in Maryland, they didn't understand," said Meushaw. "They said, 'You're changing.' I said, 'I am the same old Scott. I just have better values.' "
Since baptism, Meushaw has moved to Orem, enrolled at Utah Valley University, goes on splits with the missionaries and is preparing for his own LDS mission.
"I wish I could go on a mission right now," Meushaw said. "I want to go share with everyone. I wish I could go scream on a mountain. It is the most amazing opportunity to become clean again."
Meushaw's since been "adopted" by several families who have just embraced him like a son. One has even offered to pay a portion of his mission, and another, the Leach family of Panguitch, whose son, Cameron, was one of the missionaries who taught Meushaw, invited him for Thanksgiving and Christmas in Garfield County.
"He's part of our family," said Cameron, who returned from his mission in November. "He's welcome in our home anytime. We care about his well-being. He's going to be looked after."
"Boils down to a missionary's work is never done because who he teaches and baptizes into the church will be a part of your life forever," said Cameron's father, Donnie.
"Finding the gospel is the best blessing ever other than being born," Meushaw said. "I'm so thankful for that. I know who I am now. I found my purpose, what makes me happy and how to live my life the right way.
"I want to live a better life because you never know who's watching and who may want to know more about the church."
Peterson said, "I guess you could say we were both an answer to each other's prayers."
Meushaw added, "Everything's come together. It's like a big puzzle."
Or ultimate touchdown.
e-mail: [email protected]